If it’s not possible to obtain consent from everyone with parental responsibility, then it is advisable to seek the services of a professional mediator (a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution). If this isn’t practical, or mediation fails to reach a satisfactory resolution, the next step is to seek a court order.
If granted, a court order allows the name of a child to be changed without the consent of the other party. The type of order that you need to apply for is called a Specific Issue Order. This type of order gives direction on a specific area of your child’s life, in this case, their legal name.
To apply for a Specific Issue order, you need to complete form C100 and submit it to a local court that deals with family matters. At the time of writing, the applicable court fee is £210, although it may be possible to claim a fee reduction, depending on your circumstances.
You can find a court in your area using the court finder website:
Please note that a court order will only be granted if the name change is considered to be in the best interest of the child. In fact, there is an implicit bias in favour of the courts not intervening because section 1(5) of the Children Act 1989 reads:
“where a court is considering whether or not to make one or more orders under this Act with respect to a child, it shall not make the order or any of the orders unless it considers that doing so would be better for the child than making no order at all.”